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    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2017
    Great advice layer up. That time of year you can hit temperatures in the 80's so you want shorts and short sleeves or as lindylou says hit snow in the mountain but I wouldn't worry about that. I would plan more for nice spring weather Basicly the temp should be very pleasant. Saying that we are having a wetter colder than normal spring.
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2017 edited
    Lindylou is right: layers and one heavy cost or jacket, cheap light plastic raincoat with hood.
    It can get chilly in the evenings in the mountains in Jasper and hot, hot hot in Kamloops (think heat stroke). Vancouver and Seattle are more moderate (think rain).
    Have a safe and pleasant trip and let us know all about it when you get back.
    I can't answer the Canadian Rockies question, but I did want to get back to Rona about the homeowner's insurance. (Couldn't remember what thread it was on.) Rona, I am just going to sit down and read the policy word for word, and then call the company if anything is unclear.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2017
    I have just read your edited (May 20) input Wolf, there are some good memories there to hold close.
    It must make you angry to have lost so much.
    Seriously, think about a book, how about "Hello Dickheads" for a title??
    Take care and be kind to yourself, your pusscats need you and this board would be a lesser place without your words.
    Was trying to see the ISS tonight, but there was a solid cloud cover and I couldn't see a thing. Oh well, it was kind of Zen anyway. Keeping one eye on the ground to be able to catch Bandit pooping and clean it up; and keeping one eye on the heavens. There is something profound in all that, but I'm sleepy now, and can't quite put together what it is. Goodnight, all.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2017
    Cassie, Where are you reading the comment by Wolf. I don't see it.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2017
    Myrtle, it is back a page here (page 7), where he put all those blank posts. It is dated April the 12th but edited 20th May
    • CommentAuthorbhv
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2017
    I just got around to catching up on this thread too. Wolf, your post about camping reminded me of growing up. We went camping as a family every summer. Mom at packing everything into our little Years later some of my brother's rich friends were soooo jealous of all the places.we.went to. All of our vacations were done with pennies and shoestrings. His friend had.been to Europe, but was jealous of our pictures of our camping trips. Really opened my eyes.
    My backyard here in CA is peaceful in the same way our favorite camping spot was. Lately I've had trouble bringing up that peaceful feeling of that spot. Wolf said something like he was remembering standing with Diane, chest deep in the lake water, holding tight because .... he knew...
    Reminded me of that.camping spot - Forest Lake in Virginia. And reminded me, much later, of hanging on tight, but not saying anything, because..... I knew.... Good Lord. I didn't want to know. But I did....
    Thank you, Wolf, for that image. I can't imagine there.being anywhere else to share such a vulnerable thought. What.other audience would even pause to get that?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2017
    bhv, I agree there isn't anywhere else such a vulnerable story would connect.

    I think that might be an unusual title but I could envision 'Hello Dickheads' as a number of Monty Python tinged explanations as to what various groups in history got terribly wrong explained directly to them as though they were in the room. There is a rich goldmine of examples to choose from which would be helped no end I'm sure by any whiff of talent in that sort of thing.

    Alzheimers' footprint is on our lives for some 12 to 14 years. I'm 66 and Dianne and I were together for 46 years. Most of my life and my memories are AD gluten free. I feel no anger at losing such things as camping was because it was us growing out of that and moving on into something else. That's the imprint of personal reality. If we are willing we undergo major changes we just try and get on with it. If we are unwilling, change can be traumatic. (This doesn't apply to loved ones dying obviously).

    Speaking of realities here's the transcript of a meeting which may or may not become more apparent by being read:

    (knock. knock. meeting comes to order.)

    Wolf 1: "This is really bad."
    Wolf 2: "Genius. What do we do about it?"
    Wolf 3: "I'm scared."
    Wolf 4: "Shut up. We need to get a grip. There's a lot of work to do."
    Wolf 1: "We're in really deep doo doo now."
    Wolf 2: "Who's going to do all this work? There's only me and I'm the patient here."
    Wolf 3: "I really am scared."
    Wolf 4: "Shut up. You be the patient. I'll be the doctor."
    Wolf 1: "I don't think we're going to make it."
    Wolf 2: "Ha! This ought to be good."
    Wolf 3: "No one cares how scared I am."
    Wolf 4: "Shut up. Meeting adjourned."

    Life is what you make it some say and it may seem to be what we made it but I think it's more accurately described as time and random events no longer intersecting. It all reminds me of Jennifer Grey who had just done Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Dirty Dancing - so she promptly went out and got a nose job and became unrecognizable.

    The Shakespeare wag once wrote that there is a tide in events where if taken can lead on to greater fortune but if missed can leave you in the back waters of whatever. This is lunacy. Not taking that tide to the new world for example is a great way of avoiding starving to death in a misquito infested swamp. What testosterone junkies like Shake there miss is that non actions carry equal weight in outcomes in a reality that brings no end of random events.

    Like that story Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. One day you rob a train and the next day you're in Bolivia. "You just keep thinking there Butch. That's what you're good at." And having said that they rode off into the sunset. I'm just kidding. They died in Bolivia.
    • CommentAuthorbhv
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2017
    OMG Wolf. I have that meeting every day!
    I don't know why but it cracked me up.when you said "they died in Bolivia". Was it Charlotte with the evil laugh the other day? Bwaaa ha ha.
    Since Mary75 said on another thread that the forum group wants to hear from the lurkers, I will just post a line or two. At 2 and 3/4 years out, I'm still in recovery, not just from the caregiving years and then the grief, but also from the heartbreak of finding that family was not there for me after all--and that in fact, I have to be careful to protect myself from my dear offspring. That was difficult to accept, and so, so hurtful...but I'm working my way past it. Life is good, and getting better all the time, but it is a process to be sure. Moving back home to NY has been happy and joyful--there's no question that this is where I belong. I'm a NY resident now--changed my license plates, voting registration, etc., etc. All my old connections just clicked back into place, and I love the area anyway, above and beyond having many friends and acquaintances here. The church choir embraced me as if I had never been gone--we have a really good choir that is very active, but I had to give it up when caregiving became too heavy. The apartment complex is fun--plenty of socialization with other dogs for Bandit, (and chatting with their owners for me), and plenty of long, woodsy walks outside around the perimeter of the complex. I'm nearly finished furnishing and decorating the apartment--that has been a creative process-- having to start from scratch because all my "stuff" is in the Heartland house in the Midwest. So I'll keep the house for a while and see whether or not I can form any real connections down there. I'll be going down for the second half of July and August--need to be back in NY by Sept. 5, when choir starts again. The house location puts me right in between DD and ex-s-i-l in more ways than one, and there is no way it is ever going to be the pleasant family gathering place I had envisioned. So I need to see whether it can be a real home place for me--just me--a place where I have friends and genuine interests and activities that I want to pursue. DH loved it there, and we had some nice times in that house before Al Z. Heimer became too horrible. DH died there, but is interred here in NY, so I feel close to him no matter where I am. We shall see. I'll keep the house one more year for sure--make a genuine effort to engage with the local area--, and see whether I get enough use out of it to justify keeping it. I do like it down Mim could tell you, that town is a best-kept secret. I am busy trying to find myself, I guess--that sounds so adolescent and stupid. But it is a fun process to figure out how I want my life to be now that I am on my own with nobody to answer to--what do I want to eat, how do I want to fill my days, what is important to me and what can be allowed to slip away out of my let's see... I chant the Liturgy of the Hours a couple times a day, work on my novel (trying for at least two hours a day on that), try to do one quick drawing on most days, and try to play at least one or two quick songs on the harp. The dog takes up a lot of time, of course--and distracts me from getting into "the zone" and getting a lot of work done...but as I said, it is a process. I'm not a holy roller, but my religion has helped me a lot--I'm by myself a lot, but never feel alone.

    Some other things I've done: In the past month, I've been to two parties, been down to Manhattan for a friend's ordination to the diaconate at St. Patrick's Cathedral (his wife gave me a "family and friends" ticket, so I got to sit in front), and been to the Bob Dylan concert here in our town.
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2017
    It all sounds great, in spite of the family stuff. As you know, I have the same hurt, and there is nothing I can do about it except get out of the way. I like the sound of all your creative activities and your involvement with friends and community. Not to sound pollyannish (sp?), but you do set a good example to your family. Small comfort I know, but it's true. I has forgotten that your husband lived in that house, too. That would make it doubly precious. Right now, it seems you've struck a good balance.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2017
    Sounds good Elizabeth. The next few years show every prospect of continuing to grow and improve.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2017
    It was lovely to read of what gives you happiness now, Elizabeth.
    I just wanted to jump on for a minute and say that I'll post more in a week or so. I'm in the Heartland and still working hard on pulling myself together for his third anniversary in Heaven--Sept. 2. The days leading up to his death date are always evocative for me...a lot going on inwardly that I'll share later.

    So I'm "lurking" for the moment--very worried about Mim, lindylou, Ky caregiver--but sending lots of thoughts and prayers, that's for sure. Arms around. (((((( )))))).

    Mim, I'll touch base later today by phone or email.
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2017
    Elizabeth, it's always good to hear from you. I was wondering how you were. And Bandit.
    Bandit is a lot of fun and continues to keep me busy--God forbid I try to sit down and get "in the zone", focused and busy with something. He just knows that I live only to take him for walks and chase around the house playing with dog toys.
    I'm just jumping on for a minute here to report that the third anniversary of Larry's death passed by in a busy blur--I was just winding up my weeks in the Heartland by going to the county fair Sept. 2 with DD, ex-son-in-law, and the three grands. That was a crazy day, and then the next morning, Sept. 3, I hopped in the SUV with hound, harp, and houseplant and drove 8 hours back up to NY. I found that I was thinking about him a lot without really being able to take many quiet moments for reflection.Before I left the Heartland I opened the wooden memory box and just fingered his rosary beads, his onyx ring, one of the prayer cards from the funeral...and just took in the fragrance from his tobacco pouch. I opened up the pouch and put it right up to my nose...evocative, to say the least. I still feel that he is always with me--he is a part of me now--and a part of everything. I see him in the wind, and in the sunlight...feel him in my heart, and also right behind me at my shoulder. It all sounds a little whack-a-doodle and New Age, but I am peaceful about it for the most part--not really sad--but sometimes I am overtaken by such poignant feelings of nostalgia and thinking of the past that it brings me to a dead halt for a few moments. As I pulled over onto the thruway exit and drove into my Hudson valley town I had such a strong feeling that I just wanted to drive back to the old house instead of my apartment--to walk in the door and into the family room and just find him smoking his pipe, watching the news, sipping his Manhattan...I just wanted to go Home! To "home" where it used to be, with him in it. That feeling was brief though, and Bandit and I arrived back to the apartment to have a nice time visiting with neighbors and their dogs and re-acquainting ourselves with our comfortable NY "pad". I've been to choir practice--nice to see everybody--and to a public forum having to do with parking issues in our town. So I'm not exactly moping around, but have had an unusual three or four days of feeling very anxious and a little panicky--feeling a lot of free-floating fear--not sure what is going on. You all know I'm not like that. But I think what it is is that I really have not taken the time to reflect and center myself again--to find my balance--after this three-year anniversary. Sept. 2 is an important day for me personally, and instead of using it the way I needed, I completely lost myself in the outing with the family. It was not really avoidable--for a number of reasons, that was the only day we could go to the Fair. But I am still pretty fragile at times, even after three years, and I really needed that day as a self-care day---and I paid for it later with the major heebie-jeebies. I'll try to consciously schedule Sept. 2 next year for my own "me" time--which still seems to be needed. As we may have mentioned a time or two, Al Z. Heimer takes a big toll on the caregiving spouse.

    Not really relevant to the forum, but our church has been rocked by some huge changes over the past months--satellite church was closed by the archdiocese, school was merged with the other Catholic elementary in our town, assistant parish administrator has embezzled a large sum of church money, and--worst of all--our dear, 80-year-old pastor has had to retire due to --you guessed it--Alzheimers! So the choir, which is a really good one and very active, feels that we have a big role to play in supporting the Mass and the parish as much as we can. The Music Ministry really is a "ministry" here, and I feel good that I have something to contribute to this parish that was alway so good to me. I met Larry in the church rectory--married him right up there on the altar--attended most Sundays for years. I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful last conversation with our parish priest--and a final hug-- just shortly before he went to his retirement home in the Bronx. We talked about Larry and the wedding day..Fr. Frank was a little fuzzy, but still had some memory of it--a nice feeling of closure and good-bye. So while all is not couleur de rose here in the parish right now, I feel that there is a (small) role for me to play in helping to make things better--a satisfying feeling of belonging and being needed.

    Hope this wasn't too much information--but I feel like I'm with friends when I come here. And speaking of friends--keep Mim and her family in your thoughts and prayers. There is a lot going on down there--but of course I'll let her speak for herself and share what she wants to.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2017
    Elizabeth, It's clear that you've decided which location is "home" for you. I wonder if Bandit senses your feeling of comfort there.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2017
    Elizabeth, it was good to read your update. Yes, you really did need that day just for you so I hope that you will find your balance again soon.
    And I believe that your husband still surrounds you with his love just as you feel that he does. Keep singing and be happy.
    I am still praying to St Jude, for Mim.